Commerce assures stronger baht won’t hinder export expansion

The continual appreciation of the Thai baht currency won’t hinder export growth this year and the growth target at 8% will be achieved, the minister of commerce assured yesterday.

The minister Mr Sonthirat Sontijirawong assured of the export growth as January’ s exports amounted to US$20.1 million, representing a spectacular 17.6% increase over the same period last year.

The January growth, he said, was significant because it was the highest growth recorded in 5 years and 2 months.

The growth covered almost all goods not least for agricultural sector which in itself grew by 16% excluding rubber and sugar.

With such high export growth, he was confident that the stronger Thai currency would not affect exports unduly.

He affirmed the 8% growth target set for this year would be achieved.

Meanwhile , the senior director of Macro Economics with the Bank of Thailand Mr Don Nakhonthap stated that the 17.6% rise in exports for January can be partly attributed to the slight delay for this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations.

Chinese New Year last year was celebrated at the end of January but this year it was delayed to the middle of February

This allowed cross border trade towards the end of January to be extraordinarily active, he said.

He said the rise in exports was applicable to all products and to all of Thailand’s major trading partners which will allow total exports for 2018 to overhaul the 4% projected by the Bank of Thailand.